Social activist Hamilton Lashley is calling on Caribbean leaders to play a major role in helping to end a “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela while blasting them as hypocrites.
As he weighed in on the ongoing political turmoil in the South American nation, Lashley told Barbados TODAY: “The intervention by the United Nations and Caribbean leaders must surely be unified, because we have a lot of hypocritical leaders in the Caribbean.
“I remember when the Venezuela economy was bouncing, a lot of Caribbean countries benefited. Right now, I think the only person that is talking in a very truthful and forthright way is the Prime Minister of Antigua, Gaston Browne,” Lashley said.
Lashley said he is saddened that thousands of Venezuelans are currently suffering and being denied basic necessities.
“People in Venezuela are suffering and it saddens me. Caribbean leaders must play a role in speaking up and speaking out for the Venezuelan people who are suffering right now.
“Certainly, Venezuela, although not geographically, could be considered a Caribbean country in the sense of the close relationship between Venezuela and the Caribbean.”
Last Friday, Prime Minister Mia Mottley affirmed Barbados’ commitment to working towards the peaceful resolution of the situation in Venezuela and in maintaining a Zone of Peace in the Caribbean, when she met separately with representatives of the United States and Venezuela.
Tensions rose in recent weeks over the presence of American diplomats in Caracas, in defiance of President Nicolas Maduro’s order to leave the country.?
This followed Washington’s recognition of Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó as interim president.
During each meeting, the PM Mottley emphasized that continued dialogue was essential to a peaceful resolution of the political situation in Venezuela, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Given Barbados’ “active engagement” on the issue within CARICOM, the statement continued, Mottley has been invited to a meeting on Venezuela to be held in Uruguay next week to “promote dialogue and a peaceful resolution”.
Lashley said he wants to see more CARICOM countries doing what is necessary to ensure there is no US invasion in Venezuela.
“It is a very incorrect approach for the United States of America under President Trump to be talking in aggressive tones of invading Venezuela. If they work the system of oppression by invading Venezuela, a lot of innocent people will die,” he added.